Olympics

Oh, those Olympics. Inspiring, incredible, heartbreaking, fun and heartwarming. No other sporting event on Earth can produce so many plots, twists, turns and moments to enjoy and ponder as the summer games. 

The athletes pushed their bodies to try and capture bronze, silver or gold, leaving us “ordinary” folks to ask, “How did they do that?” Many pundits focused harshly on Simone Biles or liked to use the term “woke” when an athlete or team struggled to perform to the usual “gold standard.” 

Hey, have you done a backflip lately? Hmm, didn’t think so. I did a handstand once many years ago, and it didn’t end well. Let’s leave flippant remarks to those who can flip (in the air).

Oh, that devil of a horse name Saint Boy really messed up the gold medal dreams of the German rider Annika Schleu. Schleu was first in points to medal in the modern pentathlon until she mounted the uncooperative “saint.”

This is a sport that includes equestrian show jumping, fencing, swimming, cross-country running and laser pistol shooting. Riders must use horses they have not trained or bonded with prior to the competition. Well, Saint Boy reminded me of my old horse Baxter, a very handsome gelding who would do anything you asked and go anywhere you wanted him to go. Unless he had other plans. Those other plans often meant standing, grazing, walking slowly, or simply refusing to follow the simplest commands. 

Saint Baxter is what I should have called him. But when a coach punched Saint Boy in the rear end, it didn’t help matters. Schleu cried her way to finish last on a horse that just wasn’t going to jump. Several other horses in the event acted less than saintly, bucking or throwing their riders off in a stunning show of bad manners.

Do you need a nice winter wool sweater? How about having Great Britain’s gold medalist diver, Tom Daley, knit you a little something? 

While Daley was in between dives, he could be seen knitting away. Evidently, it gets boring waiting poolside, so knitting has become a therapeutic way for the champion to “relax and unwind.” His true “masterpiece” is the little pouch he made to keep his gold medal. He left the competitors in stitches. 

Some of the weird images of the Tokyo Olympics included a six-legged runner. Yes, a cockroach was given “moments of stardom” when a cameraman decided to focus his lens on a cockroach during the final minutes of the Spain-Argentina women’s field hockey match. Geez, Mr. Cameraman, you have one job! This is the Olympics! Why must you shoot an insect making its way along a ledge at the side of the stadium? One announcer from Spain screamed “la cucaracha!” in disbelief.

There were some unsettling things that happened in Tokyo. We couldn’t escape controversy. But there were also records that were smashed and a feast of sporting events that thrilled. We had the chance to observe greatness. Our athletes were on fire. And for a few weeks, we could bask in their glory. Yea for Team USA!

Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local Realtor. Have a story or a comment? Email Judy at judy@judybluhm.com.